Robin Abell, Nathan Kerr, Brendan Vote
To investigate the safety and efficacy of Catalys (Optimedica, Sunnyvale, CA) femtosecond laser pretreatment in cataract surgery compared to conventional phacoemulsification cataract extraction.
Prospective multiple surgeon consecutive case control study of 400 eyes that underwent cataract surgery between April 2012 and July 2012. Cases were those undergoing Catalys femtosecond laser pretreat-ment (n = 200) and compared with conventional phacoemulsification surgery controls (n = 200). Fem-tosecond laser pretreatment involved anterior capsu-lotomy and lens fragmentation based on optical coherence tomography (OCT) guided treatment mapping. Both groups were completed by standard phacoemulsification and insertion of an intraocular lens. Data was collected about patient demographics, pre-operative investigations, effective phacoemulsifi-cation time (EPT), and intra-operative complications.
Patient demographics were similar between both groups. There was no statistically significant difference in intra-operative complications between femtosecond laser pretreated cataract surgery and con-ventional phacoemulsification surgery. There was one posterior capsule rupture in both groups (0.5%; NS). 100% of cases treated with the femtosecond laser had a complete capsulotomy. Vacuum time decreased with experience. EPT was reduced by 70% in the femtosec-ond group (p < 0.0001). 26 cases in the femtosecond group versus 1 case in the conventional group had zero EPT (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Femtosecond laser pretreatment to cata-ract surgery appears to be as safe as conventional cataract surgery in the short-term and results in sig-nificantly lower effective phacoemulsification time. While it may allow for greater efficiency, further research is needed into long-term safety aspects.